Managing the repatriation of professionals following overseas assignment
Despite decades of research about culture shock, and latterly but not to the same extent, reverse culture shock, it seems that little is understood about how to manage the process of repatriation after an overseas assignment in the commercial world. Attrition rates of repatriates leaving their employers within the first year following their return continue to rise as those individuals consistently report feeling undervalued by their employers. This study is concerned with how best to manage the process of repatriation from the employees’ point of view. It therefore looks at how a group of repatriating Finns from various professional backgrounds perceived the effects of reverse culture shock, and how both they and their employers prepared for the transition back into the home environment. This was achieved using eleven semi-structured interview during which three themes emerged that could be placed into affective, behavioural, and cognitive categories. An existing framework, matching those categories is offered as the basis for designing bespoke intervention programmes. It is contended that this framework might have made the transition back home a smoother process for the sample group and therefore it is recommended as a practical way forward in managing repatriation of professional individuals. ...
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